By Hillary Chabot
Republican secretary of state candidate Anthony Amore has banked some big-name bipartisan support in his bid to unseat William F. Galvin, and he’s ready to take on the incumbent after the Beacon Hill veteran’s tough Democratic primary.
Former U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a prominent Bay State Democrat, donated $200 to the Swampscott security expert along with $1,000 from former federal prosecutor Brian T. Kelly — known for putting Southie mob boss Whitey Bulger behind bars.
Prominent defense attorney Anthony Cardinale, known for taking mafia cases, has also chipped in to Amore’s race, according to campaign finance records.
“My career has been marked by taking on these major security challenges,” said Amore, a Swampscott resident who served as the former assistant federal security director at Logan Airport following Sept. 11, 2001.
“I see the next big security challenge as election security,” said Amore, who has also worked for more than a decade on the effort to recover stolen artwork from the famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.
Election officials across the country have been on high alert following intelligence reports that Russia tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Galvin, who’s held the office since 1995, emerged victorious but weary last week after his first serious challenge in years from Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. The Democrat has at least $465,000 in his campaign coffers, according to state campaign fund records.
Amore, a 51-year-old political newcomer, said he brings different strengths than Zakim.
“I have a lot more experience and a greater toolset,” said Amore, pointing to his work at the Gardner Museum and as a former Homeland Security official at Logan Airport.
Amore was tasked with creating a screening system for checked bags out of Logan Airport following the devastating Sept. 11 attacks. The two airplanes used to attack the World Trade Center towers had originated from Logan.
“When you’re faced with that sort of pressure, it’s motivating, it’s daunting but it really seasons you in a quick way,” he said.
Amore got his job as chief of security for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2005, 15 years after two men stole 13 works of art in Boston’s most infamous heist. He has worked to maintain security at the museum and recover the artwork since then.
“We really do hold out hope that eventually either our work is going to lead us to them or someone is going to call us and lead us to them,” said Amore, who has followed up on thousands of leads in his efforts to track down the artwork.“The Gardner theft is my life’s work,” he said.
The GOP challenger has less than two months to boost his statewide name recognition and bolster an election team against Galvin’s deep Democratic Party roots.
“Mr. Galvin is a formidable opponent,” said Amore. “But I’m the right person to ensure that security for our elections is robust.”